TheSonntag
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Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:51 am

Last weekend, Germany retired the last F-4 Phantom after 40 years of service in Germany. The Eurofighter took over.

Not bad for an airplane which had its first flight in 1958.
 
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larshjort
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:10 am

Nice show they put up Saturday, I was just at bit annoyed having to wait 2½ hours to get on a bus to the parking lot.

The best looking of the Phantoms was 38+10 painted in the original colours.


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RussianJet
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:01 am

Such a cool-looking aircraft. Shame to see them go, but then the Typhoon looks pretty nice too. She certainly had a good, long innings.
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steman
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:18 pm

What´s amazing is that the first F-4F delivered in 1973 was still in active service till the very last day.
But then again, all of the 175 examples were delivered within a couple of years.
However the Phantom has a longer story in Luftwaffe service than just the F version.
If I am not wrong, starting in 1968 a total of 88 RF-4E were delivered to the German Air Force.
These have all long been retired, some of them are still in service in Greece and Turkey.
The experience with the RF-4E lead to the acquisition of the F variant, which originally should have been a very different version of the Phantom: single seat and much lighter.
Studies showed however that the standard two seats version would not have had worse performances than the single seat, while costs to develop the latter were clearly higher.
For many years the F-4F was just an air policing and "light" interceptor aircraft, with one fuel tank less than the F-4E and other measures to reduce weight and make it more agile, including combat slats (later adopted by the E too). It was armed only with the internal cannon and AIM-9 missiles.
When political climate changed, Germany was allowed to use long range aerial intercept missiles and the Phantom went through a thorough upgrade which included the state of the art APG-65 radar as well as AIM-120 missiles (some were upgraded to the air-to-ground role too).

Like the F-104S ASA in Italy, the F-4F ICE remained a potent air defense asset even compared to newer generation models. But nothing lasts forever.

My only regret is that I have never seen a Phantom fly.
Maybe some examples will be kept operational for experimental purposes?

Ciao
Stefano
 
bennett123
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:31 pm

I recall discussing the issue of weaponry with the pilot of an F4F at an airshow in the mid 1980's, probably Fairford.

He did not view the lack of AIM7 as a big problem.

I have since read that at that time, the kill rate with that missile was pretty low.
 
bennett123
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:37 pm

http://uk.ask.com/web?q=Sparrow+missile&search=&qsrc=0&o=312&l=dir

According to this article, the kill rate in 1972 was only 12%, meaning that in most engagements, (even if BVR launch was allowed) then it would come down to AIM9's anyway.
 
steman
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:08 am

That is true,
the AIM-7 was certainly not the most lethal BVR missile back then.
But the Luftwaffe was anyway prevented from using such weapons by a post war treaty which was eased
with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The AIM-120 is way better than the AIM-7 and the APG-65 radar gave look down-shoot down capabilities.
The F-4F in its original state was anyway meant to be a more agile version of the Phantom, to be used in air superiority, close combat scenarios.
By the time of choosing a new air defense aircraft, there weren´t many better choices readily available.
 
avnut43
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:00 pm

Is the first/last Phantom hopefully destined for a museum and not the scrap yard?
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:19 pm

Quoting avnut43 (Reply 7):
Is the first/last Phantom hopefully destined for a museum and not the scrap yard?

I would not bet on that - the Luftwaffe has a history of preserving aircraft for some time, just to scrap them later anyway. However, Phantoms are already on display in Berlin Gatow.

But maybe it is retained.

To me it still remains strange that the Phantom was kept for such a long time and the Mig-29 was retired earlier - I guess the outdated avionics and delicate spare part situation were a problem for the Mig-29.

I also once asked a Phantom pilot why the Tornado did not overtake the role of the Phantom. He said it was especially bad at high altitudes. Since no other Nato state except the UK uses a ADV variant for the Tornado, I guess it was true.

Already in 1998 the Phantoms in Germany were limited to 6.5 Gs. Not much compared to modern fighters. The pilot said you could pull more, but then the mechanics would get pissed off.
 
bennett123
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:08 pm

Also they only had a few MIG29's.
 
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seahawk
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:29 am

37+01 will be a gate guard at Wittmund. And btw on the Phinal Display the pulled 8.5g with the F-4s.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:54 pm

Quoting steman (Reply 3):
My only regret is that I have never seen a Phantom fly.

What ... really? I dare say it was actually more difficult to not see a Phantom flying rather than see it fly. Did you never go to a North Sea island or - after 1990 - to the Baltic Sea to spend your holidays?
I support the right to arm bears
 
steman
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:14 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 11):
What ... really? I dare say it was actually more difficult to not see a Phantom flying rather than see it fly. Did you never go to a North Sea island or - after 1990 - to the Baltic Sea to spend your holidays?

I have been living in Germany only for 6 years and never got a chance to see a Phantom in this time, nor to have holidays on the North Sea.
But while I was living in Rome, Italy, I got plenty of chances to see Italian Air Force F-104s  
Same engine as the Phantom, same generation (first flight 4 years earlier then the F4H-1), same charisma  
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:48 pm

I remember the F-104 when I was in Cesenatico on Summer Holiday in the early 1990s. Those were the days.
 
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walter2222
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:06 pm

Quoting steman (Reply 3):
My only regret is that I have never seen a Phantom fly.
Maybe some examples will be kept operational for experimental purposes?



Two examples will be kept flying - with WTD61 - at Manching, till the end of this month. So, that will be the last chance to see a German Phantom flying.

38+10 will become a gate-guard at Neuburg. 38+13 (a real beauty) will most probably become a gate-guard at Manching.

Best regards,

Walter
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TheSonntag
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:26 pm

BTW, today Der Spiegel not only claimed that the Eurofighter will be more expensive, but that there is a serious documentation issue regarding the Eurofighter Ejection Seats which - according to some sources - could mandate a grounding of the entire fleet.

Whether it is as dramatic as Der Spiegel claims can be debated - but who knows, maybe the Phantom grounding was a bit premature...
 
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seahawk
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RE: Official Phantom Phlyout In Germany

Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:47 am

Bring the F-4 back.  

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